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Apr 09, 2013
| ISBN 9781781680759
Jul 31, 2012
| ISBN 9781844679096
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Apr 09, 2013 | ISBN 9781781680759
Jul 31, 2012 | ISBN 9781844679096
This is what austerity looks like: a nation surviving on the results of what conservatives privately call “the progressive nonsense” of the Big Society agenda.In a journey that begins and ends in the capital, but takes in Belfast, Aberdeen, Plymouth and Brighton, Hatherley explores modern Britain’s urban landscape and finds a short-sighted disarray of empty buildings, malls and glass towers. Yet while A New Kind of Bleak anatomizes “broken Britain,” Hatherley also looks to a hopeful future and discovers fragments of what it might look like.Illustrated by Laura Oldfield Ford, author and artist of Savage Messiah.
In A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Owen Hatherley skewered New Labour’s architectural legacy in all its witless swagger. Now, in the year of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, he sets out to describe what the Coalition’s altogether different approach to economic mismanagement and civic irresponsibility is doing to the places where the British live.In a journey that begins and ends in the capital, Hatherley takes us from Plymouth and Brighton to Belfast and Aberdeen, by way of the eerie urbanism of the Welsh valleys and the much-mocked splendour of modernist Coventry. Everywhere outside the unreal Southeast, the building has stopped in towns and cities, which languish as they wait for the next bout of self-defeating austerity.Hatherley writes with unrivalled aggression about the disarray of modern Britain, and yet this remains a book about possibilities remembered, about unlikely successes in the midst of seemingly inexorable failure. For as well as trash, ancient and modern, Hatherley finds signs of the hopeful country Britain once was and hints of what it might become.
“A humanely barbed Nikolaus Pevsner for our times … This book should be required reading for planners, developers and architects.”—Independent“Hatherley has busily constructed a cult reputation as the angry young man of architectural criticism.”—Guardian“Engaging, fearless and startlingly intelligent polemicist.”—Time Out“Essential reading for anyone who ever feels their blood start to boil when they hear the word ‘regeneration.’”—Hari Kunzru“Owen Hatherley brings to bear a quizzing eye, venomous wit, supple prose, refusal to curry favour, rejection of received ideas, exhaustive knowledge and all-round bolshiness.”—Jonathan Meades“Fierce and original.”—Andy Beckett, Guardian“He writes with venom and flare … [It is] refreshing to see politics reintroduced to the architectural debate.”—Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times“[A] bracing antidote to the faux-chumminess of so much British cultural discourse.”—Sukhdev Sandhu, Icon“A timely counterpoint to Britain’s jubilee and Olympics self-congratulation … observed with a precision and fury to force you to open your eyes.”—Metro
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